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The onnagata [25 Feb 2012|12:57pm]

I'm writing an essay for my Japanese popular culture class. The class focuses on cinema, and I'm planning on writing about the onnagata actors, especially during the shift from "old-style" cinema (filming of Japanese theatre) to "Western style"-cinema.

A short summary can be found here:

I found it interesting how at least a few on these actors became directors.

I haven't gone much into the details yet, as my main studies are in a completely different field, and I'm taking this class out of fun and general interest. I only have a vague outline, but I realize that material on this subject might be hard to find.

Thus, I wanted to ask you all if you knew any interesting (academic level) books or articles that center on the onnagata. Simple references are fine, I can dig up the articles myself. The main time period I'm looking for material on is the late 1800's to around 1930 (where the onnagata were obsolete in cinema).

Do you know of any specific onnagata I could focus on, in addition to Medama no Macchan (Matsunosuke Onoe)?
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Japanese Folktale [27 Aug 2010|05:19pm]

Hello, I'm Martin. I'm a 35 yo. teacher in Vienna, Austria, and just joined your group.

Maybe some of your visitors can help me place a Japanese folktale, that I vaguely remember. I'm really a total newcomer to Japanese culture and haven't read much more than Lafcadio Hearn, A.B. Mitford, Yei Theodora Ozaki, The Pillow Book, and the first few chapters of The Tale of Genji, so it should be in one of these books, and I've got them at hand as well, but I still can't find the story. Apparently I must have read it somewhere else after all.

Here is what I remember: Once upon a time there was a cruel tyrant who expelled old people from his kingdom. So a pious son hid his parents in his cellar. For some reason [the emperor of China?] came up with three riddles that the cruel tyrant managed to solve with the help of that son. The first riddle was about the right position of a piece of wood, and was solved by throwing it into flowing water. The second one had something to do with snakes, I think. The third one consisted in drawing a piece of string through a weirdly shaped stone. He solved the problem with the help of some small animals, maybe ants. (Like Daedalus with the snail shell.) Having suceeded, the son revealed that his parents counselled him in this and the tyrant repealed his unjust law.

Now all that Google turned up was this. Evidently a variant to the tale I remember, but two of the three problems differ, and Yasushi Inoue frustratingly just says that they were solved, but not how. Do you remember my story or at least a more detailed version of the other one? (Or if there's a better place to ask this question, could you please direct me there?)

Thanks in advance!
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in miso soup [21 Mar 2009|01:46pm]

if anyone has or know the Japanese version of the novel in miso soup by Ryu Murakami?
I really need help. thanks
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The Kokinshu [11 Feb 2010|05:02pm]


I was wondering if anyone else here enjoyed reading The Kokinshu.  I love it so much, I do weekly postings of it's many different poems!  There are lots of poems by Ono no Komachi.  She is one of my favorite Japanese poets!
For those of you not familiar with The Kokinshu, I highly recommend it!  It's a book full of poems from the Heian Period and they're great!
Here are a few of my favorites that I've posted on my journal:

Poems from the KokinshuCollapse )
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English Translation of Historical Japanese Novel [18 Jun 2009|02:05pm]

"Moe Yo Ken" -- the samurai epic chronicling the life of Hijikata Toshizou, the Vice-Captain of the Shinsengumi in the last days of the Tokugawa Period.

This book is full of romance, epic duels, and lots of history concerning the Bakumatsu, so if any of that is of interest to you, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Also, this book does not pull its punches, so be prepared for a darker, grittier Japan than you might be used to. Here's a sample from the first chapter:

    As he made his way out of the main town, an acquaintance called out to him from the fields.
    "Hey, Toshi, where are you going?"
    He didn't answer, though.
    It's not like he could say that he was going to rape a woman.
    Tonight was the Rokusha Myoujin Ceremony. In more colloquial terms, it was known as the Darkness Festival.
    Toshizou's mission tonight was to take advantage of the darkness during the festival and sneak in. There, he would strip off the kimono of one of the girls visiting the shrine, push her down, and violate her. Then, he would take off his own yukata and lay it across the grass, moist with evening dew, to keep the woman from getting wet as she slept. The reason he was wearing a judo gi was for preparation in case a fight broke out between any male companions.
    Toshizou wasn't the only criminal.
    That was the nature of the festival.

The story is located here: "http://moeyoken.blogspot.com."

Hope you enjoy the story. 26 chapters are up so far, and the end of the first volume is near. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. I'm also searching for an interested publisher.
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Edowaga Ranpo [21 Nov 2008|03:55pm]

(Are there tags in this community? Am I missing them somewhere?)

I'm looking for recomendations for Edowaga Ranpo (sometimes Rampo).
He's a mystery writer that one of my friends recommended to me.

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Akutagawa's translation. if you could, I'd appreciate it if you'd correct errors.... [18 Oct 2008|10:04am]




Read more...Collapse )
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Please correct my translation of Akutagawa Ryunosuke [17 Oct 2008|08:11am]


Hello! people on this community! I'm a Japanese woman living in Japan.  I am so amazed to know there is a community like this!

Recently I've been translating Japanese ancient literature for my enjoyment and studies.  I 've been  trying to translate this short story called 鼻(Hana - The Nose) by Akutagawa Ryunosuke.  His works are really fascinating, aren’t they? This story is about a priest in a high position whose nose was huge. He had an extreme self-consciousness on his nose and everybody aware about it (and laughed over it) but the priest
pretended not to know or care about it.. Anyway, it is Akutagawa’s short story in early period.

These is an excerpt and I would apprecite it so much if some of you would correct my errors!Read more...Collapse )
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Natsume Soseki: Superstar of World Literature [07 Jan 2008|12:39pm]


I inform you a new published book "Natsume Soseki: Superstar of World Literature" by Damian Flanagan, and translated into Japanese in November in the last year, 『世界文学のスーパースター夏目漱石』.


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Clearness - Towa [05 Nov 2007|04:55pm]

[ mood | creative ]

I read a novel "Clearness" by Towa. A keitai shosetsu. I just love it so much!!
Because of the  "simplicity" of the novel. I love the story and the way the story goes. women and  man prostitute  in Japan. How their feel and emotion.
Is anyone ever read that novel?

4 comments|post comment

紫式部 : Murasakishikibu (tree) [23 Oct 2007|09:14pm]

In my garden there is a tree named "紫式部 : Murasakishikibu". Since the colour of this tree's fruits are 紫 (murasaki: purple) this was named after that famous classic writer, I guess. In every autumn this tree bear beautiful fruits, but birds have never eaten them.

P.S. I found an entry about this tree in Wikipedia today (24. Oct.).
In English it is "Beautyberry".
According to this site, "Japanese Beautyberry Callicarpa japonica, native to Japan, is also cultivated in gardens. It is called Murasakishikibu in Japanese, in honor of Murasaki Shikibu."
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Introduction of some books [24 Sep 2007|02:43am]

I think, almost all members of this community are interested in Japanese culture and which books have been published in Japan, so I introduce some to you.
First of all, "A Daughter of the Samurai" by Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto.

You can read a review here:
Japanese version:

著者:杉本鉞子(すぎもと えつこ)-ちくま文庫、1994(筑摩書房、1967)年
Next, "SHIN-TO: The Way of the Gods in Japan. According to the Printed and Unprinted Reports of the Japanese Jesuit Missionaries in the 16th & 17th Centuries."
The original title in German is "Shin-to Der Weg der Gotter in Japan"
Publisher Information: Bonn and Leipzig: Kurt Schroeder, 1923.

Thirdly, 『21世紀 ドストエフスキーがやってくる』

As reference:
Forthly, 『メディアの中の漫画 新聞 - 1コママンガの世界』 by 茨木正治(IBARAGI, Masaharu)

ISBN 978-4-653-04011-8
Fifthly, 『平和の探求・手塚治虫の原点』 by 石子順(ISHIKO Jun)

ISBN : 978-4-406-05064-7
This book will be published in the end of this month.
Have a nice time with Japanese literature!
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[30 Aug 2007|09:35am]

[ mood | anxious ]

i love japanese literature, i hope i can find friends  to discussion friends here.
douzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu^____^

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"After Dark" by Haruki Murakami & German film "Der Himmel über Berlin" [20 Aug 2007|01:25am]

[ mood | calm ]

Hi, all members!

On looking through it in a bookshop, I remembered a German film "Der Himmel über Berlin" (1987).
This "After dark" looks like the first half of this film. That is to say, the hero of this novel is observing the world below like an angel, and sometimes sets foot on a room or someting else in order to be closer to somebody.

The following site is also useful to know the plot:
The film director is Wim Wenders, and main actors are Bruno Ganz, Otto Sander and so on.

По-русски "Небо над Берлином"
English title is "Heaven over Berlin" (or "Wings of Desire")

3 comments|post comment

"Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories" by Jay Rubin [13 Jul 2007|12:31am]

Hi! I'm a new commer in this community.

Do you know "Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories", Ryunosuke Akutagawa, translated by Jay Rubin? (30 Mar 2006, Penguin Books Ltd), ISBN: 0140449701

This book was reversely translated into Japanenese and published in Japan in this year.
"芥川龍之介短篇集"(Akutagawa Ryunosuke Tanpen-shu)

ISBN: 978-4-10-304871-8
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The Obligatory Introductory Post [10 Jul 2007|10:42pm]

I was just writing in my journal about how happy I was to stumble across a community like this... I dabble in Facebook and Xanga communities as well, but I've yet to find a decent discussion group on Japanese Lit in either of those places. So thank you, all of you, for your insights and input.

To make a long story short, I'm currently living in Japan (teaching English) with aspirations of doing an MA in Modern Japanese Lit. when I get back to North America. My goals while in Japan are to familiarize myself with as broad a spectrum of Japanese Lit. as I can... right from Genji and The Pillow Book to the Murakamis (Ryu and Haruki). I'm currently reading English translations, but hope to break into the Japanese once my language is up to snuff.

Just to throw something out there... has anybody heard of/previously discussed the work of Edogawa Rampo?
6 comments|post comment

Mishima [15 Jun 2007|01:04am]

Hi! I am student of Moscow State University, my name is Dmitry. Several years ago I discovered japenese literature and was absorbed by Akutagawa, Kawabata and mostly by Mishima. I appreciate his descriptions of comon life, of latent feelings and hidden emotions even hints of the emotions, nuances of emotional experiences. Most of all I like his novels of an everyday japenese life of the post-war period. I wanted to ask you whether you know any filmings of his masterpieces.
8 comments|post comment

[11 Apr 2007|11:40am]

Hi all.

I will be finished reading the works of Kobo Abe this weekend (at least, those published in English, short the plays Friends and The Man who Turned Into a Stick, because I don't want to pay collectors prices at the moment).  I'll be making a rather long post/review, probably on Sunday.  Abe was the first author who inspired me to read everything I could find.

If anyone here is interested in Abe, please say hello.  I'm curious to know who he compares to - I've had several people recommend Murakami, and due to some recent investigation, I'll probably be reading his work at some point, but I'm curious how they compare.  

Feel free to say hello.
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Matsuyama in the spring: HAIKU event. [07 Apr 2007|07:28am]


Dear friends, on April 7 - 11,  we wiil all witness  the big event in haiku world -- the Third Interantional haiku conference of the Pacific Rim countries in Matsuyama, Japan: http://hpr-conference.com/index.html   As you know, it is the birth place of Masaoka Shiki, the great haijin and haiku scholar of 19 centuary, and this year marks his 140 birth anniversary. 

The Matsuyama Declaration was signed here in 1999 to establish the Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Research Center and to signify the generous intent of Japanese people to share haiku internationally.

On the Conference web site, you will find Conference Schedule , and the Conference local organizers annouced that they will provide a webcast access to the conference via live internet streaming video! The presentations by haiku experts during the day of April 8, 2007 (Japan Standard Time) can be seen on the live webcast:   Watch Live Webcast Here  (from there, choose the way to watch the webcast).  You may calculate your local time when you can watch the live webcast, on the World Time Server.

This is our haiga collaboration which will be shown on the big screen in Shiki Museum during the presentation.  Enjoy! :)

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Musashi [03 Sep 2006|12:13pm]


Has anyone read Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa? My brother LOVES that book and wants me to read it. What do you think about it?

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